While I was finishing up my last addition to this blog, I suddenly realized that I was about to publish my 200th post. Two hundred posts! What do you know? Has it really been that many already?
When I first published the first post to this blog on August 8, 2006, it was meant to be an experiment, a tentative foray into the world of internet blogging. I never thought that anybody would be interested in a blog about what life was like in a remote and presumably insignificant town in one forgotten corner of the Philippines.
As I added more and more posts in the almost two years since, the blog has, however, taken a life of its own. I began getting e-mails, comments and queries. That is something I never expected and in many ways I am humbled but also flattered and heartened by the feedback from readers all over.
I guess Lianga is both a place and an idea that has a variety of connotations to different people, even those who have actually visited it or have lived there.
For those who are attuned to the fast, hectic and cosmopolitan urban lifestyle, it is simply a place on the edge of nowhere where nothing really happens. A dull, dull place (except for the beaches and the sea food!), lacking malls, movie houses and even the semblance of a night life. A limbo where life is steeped in the constricting, cultural traditions of a bygone and obsolete era.
Others see it as a dangerous place, its countryside crawling with with communist rebels, a virtual hotbed of armed insurgency. There are those who gripe very eloquently about its potholed, dirt roads with its rickety, wooden bridges and the long hours of mind numbing, body battering travel you have to go through to move from place to place.
Yet for others, tired of the city life and the urban rat race, it is an oasis of calm and relaxation; a place where time moves slowly and reluctantly like an indolent snail. They swoon over the pristine, white sand beaches, the marvelous scenery, the glorious seafood and the picturesque, old houses.
They tell the us, the local folks, how lucky we are to live in paradise and how much they would give up to own even a tiny beach house on one of the town's outlying beaches where they could soak up the sun, swim in the white, frothing surf and forget, even for a moment, the cares and vexations of life.
Upon reflection, the the real truth of what life in Lianga really is lies somewhere in the middle of these contrasting and extreme perspectives. It's neither one or the other but somewhere in between and, therefore, as illusive as most truths are.
That is why writing about Lianga is not only a challenge but also so much fun. And there will always be no lack of topics and subjects about this town to write about. I have written 200 posts yet I have barely scratched the surface.
As I have mentioned before, I never had any illusions at being a good writer much less one who can do ample justice to the task of writing about this town and its people. I just do what I can in my own, perhaps insignificant, way and I hope to be able to continue to do so in the near future.
After all, somebody has to tell the stories about this small town by the sea and, damn it, I might as well try to be one of them.